Romanian triple-play network operator Digital Cable Systems (DCS, which offers residential cable services as AKTA alongside business services brand Dial Telecom) has confirmed to local press that it is negotiating with two mobile network operators (MNOs) on a plan to launch quad-play services under a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model by the end of this year or in early 2016. As reported by Hotnews.ro, the MVNO project was included recently by DCS on a list of investments to be funded by a EUR10 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). DCS’ general director Dinu Malacopol was quoted as saying that the cableco remains in talks with two MNOs and is ‘interested to launch mobile services later this year or the beginning of 2016 but there is no pressure in this regard’, as he said the company is looking to get the best terms and conditions from the MNO deal to be ‘economically efficient’.
TeleGeography notes that UK-backed Lycamobile became the first MVNO to launch in Romania in March 2015, piggybacking on Telekom Romania’s (formerly Cosmote Romania’s) network. Back in 2012 Romanian regulator ANCOM claimed that 17 licensed operators had expressed an interest in entering the MVNO sector – a list that included triple-play cableco UPC Romania – but most would-be virtual operators have been wary of entering the market due to the existing rock-bottom retail tariffs from MNOs including quad-play cableco RCS&RDS (Digi), the fixed broadband market leader which is aggressively expanding its presence in the cellular sector.